Securing America's Future Energy

SAFE Submits Comments to the Record for Autonomous Vehicles Alongside Six Disability Groups

Contact: Bridget Bartol | 202.461.2361 |

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE), along with the National Association of the Deaf, National Cued Speech Association, Segs4Vets, Paralyzed Veterans of America, 60 Plus Association and the National Federation of the Blind, today submitted its comments to the House Energy and Commerce’s Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee to urge Congress to remove regulatory barriers and provide a solid foundation for the future of autonomous vehicles (AVs).

A report produced by SAFE, with the Ruderman Family Foundation, found that 15 million Americans—including 6 million with disabilities—have difficulty accessing the transportation they need in their daily lives. This impacts every facet of life. For instance, approximately 4.3 million individuals with a disability face significant barriers to reaching needed medical appointments.

The consequent missed appointments result in net costs of at least $19 billion per year. Moreover, inadequate accessibility compounds the already high cost of non-emergency medical transport, which totaled more than $2.7 billion under Medicare and Medicaid in 2013 alone.

The joint comments for the record focused on three core provisions that are vital to developing good AV policy and increasing access to the disabled, elderly and veteran community:

  • Preemption
  • Exemption for Novel Designs
  • Federal Advisory Committees

Today’s statement for the record can be found here.

In January, SAFE’s Commission on Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Safety, a panel of experts and former public officials committed to the safe and timely introduction of AVs, released its best-practice recommendations for AV deployment. These recommendations emphasized the need for a clear regulatory environment, as well as industry-government communication in order to unlock this emerging technologies full potential.

About Securing America’s Future Energy

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and transportation sector innovations including electric vehicles, natural gas trucks, and autonomous vehicles. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil. Today, the ESLC is co-chaired by Frederick W. Smith and General James T. Conway (Ret), 34th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

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